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Do you speak Japanese?

What's your level in Japanese ?

  • Native speaker

    Votes: 33 4.8%
  • Native level (upper-advanced - JLPT1)

    Votes: 23 3.4%
  • Advanced (JLPT2)

    Votes: 41 6.0%
  • High intermediate-lower advanced

    Votes: 48 7.0%
  • Intermediate (JLPT3)

    Votes: 66 9.6%
  • High beginner/lower intermediate (JLPT4)

    Votes: 124 18.1%
  • Know the kanas, but still pretty much beginner

    Votes: 133 19.4%
  • Just a few words or phrases (greetings, etc)

    Votes: 170 24.8%
  • I don't know anything, but I want to learn !

    Votes: 54 7.9%
  • Don't care about Japanese language.

    Votes: 1 0.1%

  • Total voters


17 Jul 2002
Just to know everyone's level and who to ask questions to in the Nihongo lounge, I'd like to know what's your level in Japanese.

I have started last year and I am almost conversational. I understand better written Japanese (I love Kanji !! :) ).
hmmm I failed the Japanese Language Proficency Test 7 years back by 1.5% ... I had a horrible hang over and just cleared managing to keep what was breakfast where it belonged.

hmmm ... I wonder ??? I write horrible but read XXX number of Kanji and speak 100% in Japanese (fluently? no. Understandably? hmm matter of asking my victims )

lollololol where do I fit?
moyashi...I am begining to like you more and more...sounds like me in my senior year trying to take my final exam...lol

oops that was level 2 eh! It was a great way to test my actual level though :)


My friends hated taking me drinking. Especially, after the night I got accepted to uni. I downed half a bottle of Johnny Walker. Passed out on some country road. They put me in the car (don't remember that) I remember hanging out the window and blowing. Next part I remembered was that I couldn't put the key into the house door. Next was my mother dragging me in the house. She didn't mind that evening but I got .... warned pretty heavily too not, repeat not, do it again.

lolololo, I waited until college to repeat that performance.
4 years high school, 4 years college, 1 year in Japan, in Japan again now, job interviews were in Japanese, working now in Japan for an American company, but, Japanese everywhere.

Fluent? Is anyone?
UCSB ... used to be a playboy Top 10 party spot for Halloween. 50,000+ people crammed into 1km of town.

Now, still famous for surfing and Nobel prize winners.

oh well
I'd say I'm about the level "Know the Kanas but Still Pretty Much a Beginner" on that list. I know how to read/write hiragana and am now working on katakana. I'm learning how to speak as well but haven't been studying too too long yet. I'll gain more experience with time I guess. By the way, where exactly do you go to take Japanese Language Proficency Test? Is it something only available to college students?
I got these data from the net.
You'd better to ask them about details.

(1) Jitsuyo- Nihongo Kentei(J.Test)

cost/ \2,100
Every year/Month 1,4,6,9,11
Sapporo,Sendai,Tokyo,Nagoya,Osaka,Fukuoka etc.,
<Nihongo Kentei Kyokai> tel :03-3368-8106
e-mai :[email protected]

(2)Jyokyu- Nihongo Kentei
J.TEST 850~
Every year/ Month 6,11
Sapporo,Sendai,Tokyo,Nagoya,Osaka,Fukuoka etc.,
<Nihongo Kentei Kyokai> tel :03-3368-8106
e-mai :[email protected]

(3)Nihongo No-ryoku shiken
You've studied over 900 hours ...Level 1 class test
over 600 hours ...Level 2
over 300 hours ...Level 3
over 150 hours ...Level 4

Application / Aug.9 ~ Sep.16
Test / Dec.5
Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Hiroshima,Fukuoka
You can buy application form at big book shops in your town.
<Nihon Kokusai Kyoiku Kyokai>

(4)Jetro Business Nihongo No-ryoku Test
cost/Level 1...6,500
JOCT(passed Level1)...9,000
Application / Feb 8 ~ March 24
<Jetro Tokyo >
tel :03-3587-1143
e-mai :[email protected]
Home page URL:<Nihon Kokusai Kyoiku Kyokai>
They say...Test will be held both in Japan and abroad.

Please send e-mails to each associations on the list or ask book shops or Japanese language schools in your town.
@ Scott
Some of the major cities here in the states have the tests too.
I know of 3 Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York...I think there may be a few more.
Oh, thanks. Do you know if Detroit has one as im about 15 minutes away? I'm not interested in taking it now of course but I think I probably will want to take it in the future.
I think you must know at least 2,000 kanji's to take the Proficiency test. Am I right? I know around 200 now, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to reach the proficiency level. Good luck to you, Scott! Hiragana and Katakana are easy, but the kanji's are totemo muzukashii.
The number depends on the level. About 2000 would put you in the level 2 or 1 categories.

Although, their is also a kanji test in Japan :)
Whew that's scary! 2000 kanji?!? WOAH! There definetly are that many though. Isn't there a recommended amount that the Japanese should know on to read on a daily basis? Is learning 2000 kanji even possible for a gaijin? Right now that seems like an impossible feat to acomplish. They look so hard to write and intricate compared to the curvy hiragana and straight katakana. Oh well....I'm up for the challenge. :)
Kanji are not that hard. If you're really into them get a book on Japanese Calligraphy or penmenship. ONE thing is to really learn the stroke order. You shouldn't cut corners on that.

If you can handle the hiragana and katakana. Kanji is just the next step. Both of the simplier phonetic systems came from kanji characters anyways. So the mechcanics are there. Just time to put the blocks together.

Writing them is one of the funniest parts for me. It's like a high, especially when your kanji looks really good and symetrical.

2000, should be enough.

The Japanese drill them every day which makes it easier for them.

You can do the same or take it easier and learn ones at your own pace and/or in your own order. Order doesn't necessarily have to follow the prescribe one that the Japanese follow.

・りがとうもい・しさん。 That really helped me out alot. I have 2 more questions. I was looking in a book called You Can Write Chinese! and it looked to me like the chinese characters were the same as Japanese Kanji. Is this true? Also, what is the real purpose of Kanji? Why not just write everything in hiragana and katakana?
@prescribed order
The Ministry of Education has all the Kanji broken down to what year of school they should be learned in. I think that list is even sometimes at the back of Kanji dictionaries. hmmm, I wonder if it's on the net somewhere?

Kanji is originally form China. Japan, I believe never did have an indigenous writting system. So they borrowed the Chineses while they were busy borrowing a bunch of other things.

Japanese Kanji are actually older forms than what China uses today. The Chinese has gone on and simplified many of theirs. Also, of course, some kanji are gonna mean different words. So Japanese "letter" will equal Chinese' "toilet paper" :)

Why not hiragana and katakana. .... ughhhh, too many words sound the same just like in English "pair" and "pear" so you'd have to pay more attention to context and actually it would take more time to read.

Way back when. Woman we're stuck to wrtting only hiragana, and men to kanji or katakana. a Kanji is a symbol and makes picking up the meaning of a sentence much quicker.

yes, learning to read and write is hell, but once you've gotten to a certain stage you are still in hell but that hell has a different feel to it and it's not so bad anymore.

hmmm this board is still having trouble with "a" and "ya"
Thanks alot, moyashi. With your help this is all slowly starting to make sense. :) I'll be on the lookout for that list.
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